Virginia hikes: Woodstock Reservoir via Little Stony Creek, May 15 2021

Continuing from our previous hike report of Tibbet Knob, we spent the weekend camped out along Forest Road 92 in the George Washington National Forest. 

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After our early dinner following our short hike to Tibbet Knob, we decided to explore downstream on the Stony Creek Trail next to our campsite. As the Chinese proverb goes “飯後百步走,活到九十九” or after dinner 100 steps, live to 99. Well, a little more than 100 steps in our case but the stroll out to Woodstock Reservoir was the perfect fit for that sentiment.

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information

  • Woodstock Reservoir via Little Stony Creek
  • type: in & out
  • distance: 3.6 miles
  • elevation change: 318 ft
  • time: 1:40 hours (1:35 moving)
  • location: Little Stony Trailhead in the Lee Ranger District, George Washington National Forest near Woodstock, VA (google map directions)

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We started our hike at the Little Stony Trailhead because it was right next to our camp. Alternatively, you are drive pretty close to the Woodstock Reservoir via Millertown Rd. (google map directions)

video

report

Typically, we’d be heading the other direction on the Little Stony Trail as we head to our almost car camping sites along Little Stony Creek. But this was a good opportunity to explore the area.  

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A few steps in, the trail starts to head away from Little Stony Creek with a social trail branching off to our left to head to a couple of campsites. Shortly after that we come to the marshy crossing of Mill Creek. This was where we saw a Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule, FS), which is an orchid and has a traditional use for nervousness, tooth pain, and muscle spasms.

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For the entirety of the hike, there was a gentle and barely noticeable downhill and for the first mile, it’s pretty boring in the green tunnel of Virginia surrounded by bushes and trees away from the stream. I was ok about turning back at this point since it rather boring but it’s good Bradley wanted to go on and pretty soon the trail returned to the side of Little Stony Creek. We would follow it the rest of the way to the reservoir. There were also a couple of camping spots along the way.

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Another quarter of a mile later, we entered more of a canyon and the sides narrowed in on us briefly. The trail continued overlooking Little Stony Creek. We saw the first of a couple beaver dams here.

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The second was at the mouth of stream as it emptied into reservoir.

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There is a campsite here and a group was partying it up here so we continued on. The trail also became more of a wide forest road at this point with a couple off shots leading to the edge of the reservoir. 

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We met a local couple that had carried a kayak out here from the road access below the dam and were now doing some fishing. 

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At the end of the reservoir is of course a dam, of the human variety this time. 

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We explored the dam itself and found a salamander. We also found another campsites here as well.

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We retraced our steps with a slight uphill back to our trailhead and campsite. We were ready to hangout by our own campfire at this point even though some of us are completely wrong on how to toast a marshmallow, at least she owns it.

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ratings

The rating below are based on an unevenly distributed scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). For full description of the ratings and the categories, see the explanation here.

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view: 2. This was a pleasant hike with some nice views of the reservoir, dam, and creek. And you know I’m always happy following a creek. We also so plenty of wildflowers here. Nothing really special, but good walk. 

difficulty: 1. This was a definition of a stroll and a nice after dinner walk.  

technical: 1

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4 thoughts on “Virginia hikes: Woodstock Reservoir via Little Stony Creek, May 15 2021

  1. What a fantastic site. I love how you break up your post into categories, including “ratings” and “report.” I would have been so excited to see a wild orchid! But not brave enough to pick up the salamander. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I guess the organization is just habit from my day job. Lol. I wouldn’t have picked it myself, but our friends were trained naturalists (ie there actual day jobs). So I trust they know what they are doing.

      Like

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